Cockatiel Review

What Do Cockatiels Eat in the Wild?

what do cockatiels eat in the wild

Do you love your incredible pets? I am sure you adore them. Your colorful birds are social, gentle, docile. If you have some time, you may play with your lovely pets, talk to them and sometimes touch them gently. However, what do cockatiels eat in the wild? You are to feed the birds properly. Their diet is to be natural, healthy and diverse. Let’s discuss what foods are suitable for your cherished parrots and which ones to avoid.

Cockatiels’ Background

Cockatiels are birds that are called miniature cockatoo. They come from Australia. Native environment of exotic parrots is described and bushlands, rain forests, and wetlands. They live also in Asia and South Pacific Island.

What do various birds eat in the wild? They usually get:

  1. Seeds from grasses.
  2. Edible greens and plants.
  3. Roots and blossoms.
  4. Some types of vegetables and fruits.
  5. Food from farmers’ crops.

Sunflower and millet seeds are to be mentioned among the best food for cockatiels. By the way, do you know, why parrots fly erratically? The birds are fast fliers, able to cover up to 70 miles per hours. They are used to doing it to escape from their enemies and predators, like hawks, eagles and feral cats.

Sometimes, farmers attack and destroy flocks of cockatiels as the parrots kill their crops. However, the birds are not at risk of extinction nowadays. They are not hunted for food. Additionally, cockatiels are taken from the wild and breed as pets.

Here you can see offers of ready-made feed with a better composition suitable for your cockatiel!

Can Cockatiels Eat Wild Bird Food?

Fortunately, cockatiels are herbivores. They don’t prey. Therefore, they use their sharp beaks only to defeat themselves. They attack other cockatiels when they get angry. However, the parrots might do it only when they sense any danger. Commonly, your exotic pets are quiet and friendly birds. Being the smallest parrots in the cockatoo family, cockatiels are intelligent, companion birds.

So, what is quality bird food for cockatiels? According to research, a fresh food diet is among the healthiest diet types. It’s beneficially based on a diverse variety of food.

Cockatiel Food List

Type of ProductsPercentage in the Ration, %
Various Seeds25
Cockatiel Pellets25
Vegetables, Greens and Fruits25
Pasta, Beans, Corn, Rice15
Grains and Table Foods10

Don’t forget about drinking water. It is to be always fresh and clean. So, change it not less than 3 times a day. However, do you work? If you select this diet type, it would take a lot of your precious time. Fresh foods are perishable. They get spoilt very soon.

what do cockatiels eat

What Can Cockatiels Eat?

Have you already found that your beautiful pets are messy eaters? I have. Especially, Nigel makes a lot of mess. He often throws food around and delights in it. Meanwhile, the cage and the dishes are to be clean.

Unfortunately, fresh food diet entails some dangers, such as:

  • high-fat content;
  • risk of bacterial growth;
  • moldy flavor;
  • lack of vitamins and minerals.

The point is that cockatiels are free to pick the food they like. Intelligent birds and not smart enough to select healthy food. They prefer the one that tastes better. That is less nutritious products that are high in fat content. For example, sunflower seeds contain 30% of fat. Overeating them can cause obesity, heart attacks and other health problems in birds.

Additionally, cockatiel feeding schedule is very tight, in this case. Your pets are to be given fresh food 3 times a day. Snacks between daily meals are to be nutritional. Every 2 hours you are to change water and remove food residues. Are there any suitable alternatives?

what can i give my cockatiel to eat

What Can I Give My Cockatiel to Eat?

Your birds are to get vegetables, fruits and berries for sure. They need calcium, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates. Variety of green vegetables and fruits are beneficial. What can cockatiels eat? List should include healthy vegetables, such as:

  • carrots with tops;
  • broccoli, including leaves and florets;
  • cooked sweet potatoes;
  • pumpkin;
  • wax beans;
  • parsley;
  • dark green lettuce.

Good fruits include apricots, cherries, pears, mangoes, bananas, plums, mangoes. Most berries are allowed. Just remove pits and berry seeds, as they might cause allergy. Some table foods like pasta, rice, eggs, meat, cheese can be added. However, these products are to be very fresh to eliminate mycotoxins.

Meanwhile, a healthy cockatiel diet may be based on the best pellets for cockatiels. Containing 60-80% of concentrated nutrients, the food is balanced and beneficial. Amount of fat seeds is reduced, preventing kidney and liver diseases.

Quite naturally, fresh vegetables, grains and fruits are essential. However, you can give them you to the birds 2 times a day or only in the evenings. Changing water 2 times a day is not the best, but an acceptable choice. So, cockatiels get high-energy meals. Daily ration is only 15 grams of foods per bird.

What Can Cockatiels Not Eat?

what do cockatiels eat for treats

Some kinds of food may harm your cherished pets. They are toxic. So, they can make cockatiels sick. Feeding your birds, avoid:

  • avocado;
  • rhubarb;
  • chocolate;
  • garlic and onions;
  • salt;
  • eggplant, tomato and potatoes’ leaves;
  • mushrooms.

Unsalted nuts are considered to be safe. However, they might contain fungus. It’s toxic. Dairy products are not recommended by avian vets. As birds don’t have enzymes, they can’t digest lactose. It may cause diarrhea and other digestive problems. However, some yogurt and cottage cheese that contains no lactose is acceptable.

Overall Impression

What do cockatiels eat for treats? They might get some animal crackers, unsalted cornflakes or sunflower seeds. Treats are to be divided into small portions. Serve them not more frequently than once a day. Meanwhile, cockatiels like not only unhealthy food. They adore edible chalk, cuttlebones, mineral blocks. At least, Sweetie does. These additives contain nutrients and essential calcium. So, if you give your pets good and tasty food, they are healthy and joyful.


Hi, my name is Charlie. I come from Patchogue Village, New York. Are you fond of cockatiels? As for me, I’ve got four pet birds. Their names are Yo-Yo and Sweetie, Nigel and Loki. Do you know how to care for them? I’m trying to hunt down the questions now. Join me, and let’s do it together.

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